SOUTH Tyneside’s oldest leek club is gearing up to celebrate its 150th anniversary, and past members are being asked to share their memories.
The Monkton Leek, Vegetable and Floral Society will be marking the milestone in September, with its annual competition.
But members – who are mainly based at the allotments behind the Lord Nelson Pub in Monkton Village – will soon be starring in a Tyne Tees TV documentary, which is a follow-up to the 1976 screening of About Britain: Land Of The Giant Leeks.
But they want people to get in touch and share their own pictures and paraphernalia to help make the show.
Danny Campbell, 49, a committee member from Monkton Village, said: “We’ve got some old photographs from the original club’s committee members back in 1864, but we think there must be a lot more out there.
“Over the years, so many people have been involved with the club, and we’d love to hear from them.
“In particular we are looking for information or photos from the very early years, but we’d like to hear from anyone involved, such as past prize winners.”
The members are also launching a website, to coincide with their anniversary year, and already they’ve started uploading old memorabilia.
In recent years the gardeners have teamed up with the Monkton Bandfest, which sees a series of musicians play at the Lord Nelson pub.
This year the Bandfest will be held on Saturday, September 7, in aid of St Clare’s Hospice, while the veg and flower show will be held on Saturday, September 14.
Mr Campbell, a caretaker, who has been a member of the club for four years, said: “There’s a lot of history attached to the club.
“For a while we even had Guinness Book of World record holders within the ranks, for the biggest leeks ever grown.
“Over the years there have been changes. I think probably the most notable is how we grow the leeks – these days it tends to be inside greenhouses, whereas in the olden days it was outdoors.”
Anyone who has memories or pictures to share should contact Mr Campbell on 07429 587 505, e-mail email@example.com or contact Joe on 07731 534 982, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org